Sandra Bland, 28, was found dead in her jail cell, on July 13, three days after she was arrested after being pulled over for failure to signal a lane change. News of her mistreatment and death has been circulating, as investigations of the Waller County Police Department and jail continue.
Social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter have been filled with prayers, thoughts, and reflections on Bland’s death. One actor in particular had quite a bit to say about the matter.
Jesse Williams, most known for his role as Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy, took to Twitter to speak out on the subject of race and police.
“WE DO NOT BEGIN AS POLICE PROPERTY, to be freed or detained based on some guy’s mood or feeling,” he wrote. “We are not theirs.
As seen in the video footage of Bland’s arrest, she was pulled over for failure to signal a lane switch. When the officer asked her to put out her cigarette, she questioned why she couldn’t continue smoking. The officer then asked her to exit the vehicle, in a less than professional manner. When she refused, he attempted to drag her out himself and threatened her with a stun gun and said he would “light her up.”
“A select segment of Americans are granated the privilege of being able to resist said tyranny, scream at it, punch, shove, or elude it,” Williams continued. “For membership consideration, this club has ONE requirement: the citizen(s) resisting police/the law/status quo must be white.”
Bland continued to ask the officer why she was being arrested, as he attempted to handcuff her. The two can be heard, but are out of camera range when we hear Bland shout. “You are about to break my wrists!” she said.
“#SandraBland’s treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead,” Williams typed. “Blackness is born to be w/ 2.9 strikes. A life that can & will be snatched by it’s nation at any time, any place. Any age, any gender.”
Throughout Williams’ tweets on the matter at hand, he provided followers with an “easily searchable sampling of the glaring daily white privilege not afforded to millions of Americans who’s lives are forever damaged or destroyed, while millions cheer and/or avert their gaze.”
Some of these videos, found on William’s Twitter page, include videos of white citizens committing crimes, resisting arrests, and not being arrested or treated in the manner Bland was.
Limited to the 140 character Tweet limit, Williams took 24 (number labeled) tweets to get his views out there. All of the 33-year-old actor’s tweets can be seen on his Twitter page (@iJesseWilliams).
Here is the video footage of Bland’s arrest, posted on YouTube by CNN: